Oprah Winfrey's Mom Vernita Lee Dies at 83

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News, Oprah was not with her mother at the time of her death, spending Thanksgiving with girls from the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, the South African boarding school she founded in 2002.

Her family said to People Magazine that she died in their home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and was laid to rest during a private funeral.

According to TMZ, which first reported the news, she and Oprah reportedly had a hard relationship as the TV mogul was raised by her maternal grandmother until the age of six while Lee worked as a housemaid in Milwaukee.

Vernita's cause of death has not yet been reported. "Memorial donations in Vernita's name may be made to Feeding America", her obituary reads.

Vernita Lee was a teenager when she gave birth to Winfrey in 1954.

Winfrey lived with her grandmother for six years.

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Oprah spent Thanksgiving at home in Montecito, where she hosted a dinner for family and friends.

"I suddenly land in a place that's completely foreign to me". I don't really even know my mother.

"When you walk into a room, you never walk alone", Winfrey said during a recent speech.

Winfrey previously released a statement about her mother on Twitter, along with a picture of the two. Vernita had a son, named Jeffrey, who died in 1989 from AIDS. Interestingly, Oprah is one of the richest women in the world, due to her years of successful television programs as well as her enterprises, including the network, OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network.

In addition to Winfrey, Lee is survived by daughter Patricia Amanda Faye Lee, who was originally given up for adoption before they reconnected. The TV icon is known to keep her private life relatively quiet, while her social media consists mostly of business and promotion.

She welcomed friends and family for a feast, uploading a video in view of her 15 million Instagram followers showing her smoking turkeys with the help of a chef. We will miss her and will carry on her legacy of good eating!

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